NCCstaff will review key provisions of the new Food, Conservation and Energy Actof 2008 in 45 educational meetings across the Cotton Belt during the weeks ofJune 16 and June 23.
HighPlains regional meetings are being conducted as part of the NCCís Southwestregion rotation and will be co-hosted by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
Allof the High Plains meetings will be held June 24-25, 2008.
Acomplete schedule with date, time and location for each of the High Plainsmeeting, as well as the information for similar meetings to be held in the restof Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, is included below
Conductedas a service to NCC members, the presentations are aimed at providing the bestavailable information on the new farm bill and will conclude with a questionand answer period. Cotton industry, media and agribusiness representatives areinvited to attend.
SouthwestRegion Farm Bill Educational Meetings
Wellington,KS, Raymond Frye Complex, 8 am
Weslaco,TX, TAMU Citrus Center, 9 am
Robstown,TX, Nueces County Fair Grounds, 3 pm
Hugoton,KS, Memorial Hall, 4 pm;
ElCampo, TX, Civic Center, 9 am
Dumas,TX, Moore County Community Bldg, 10 am
Seagraves,TX, Community Bldg; 10 am
Victoria,TX, Howard Johnson Hotel, 3 pm
Plainview,TX, Ollie Liner Center, 3 pm
Midland,TX; Midland County Horseshoe, 3 pm;
Uvalde,TX, Uvalde Quality Inn, 10 am
Lubbock,TX, Plains Cotton Cooperative Assn, 10 am
SanAngelo, TX; Texas Agri-Life Res. & Ext. Center, 10 am
Lamesa,TX, Dawson County Community Center, 2 pm Abilene,TX, Abilene Christian University, 3 pm;
ElPaso, TX, Wyndham Hotel, 10 am
Altus,OK, Oklahoma Cotton Cooperative Assn., 10 am.
Friday,June 20, 2008
PresidentGeorge Bush issued his second veto of the Food, Conservation and Security Actof 2008 with little or no fanfare June 18. Congress immediately followed hislead with a workmanlike pair of votes later that day to override the veto andmake all thirteen titles of the legislation the law of the land.
Withinhours of the veto the House of Representatives concluded a short debate on theoverride measure with a 317-109 vote to override the Presidentís veto and sendthe bill to the Senate.
Immediatelyupon receiving the package from the House the Senate took up the measure andquickly performed its own override vote. The final vote in the Senate was80-14.
Nowthat this last hurdle has been cleared and the entire bill is law the focus ofCongress and U.S. agriculture can now shift squarely to the process ofimplementing the new law.
Thisis a rapidly evolving process and it seems like new information about differentprograms and key decisions are being announced on a daily basis. That meansthat Plains Cotton Growers and other regional and national agriculture andcommodity groups are busy working to stay involved in the process and provideinput to both Congress and USDA personnel on a variety of issues.
Friday,June 20, 2008
Therelease of 2008-crop Upland Cotton Loan Premium and Discount tables by theUnited States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency the week of June11, 2008 adds another important piece to the marketing puzzle for cottonproducers that are already well into the 2008 growing season.
Amongthe things growers have been waiting to see were the impact of changes made tothe Upland Cotton loan program and how the 2008-crop loan premiums anddiscounts tables would be impacted.
USDAFarm Service Agency personnel were well acquainted with the details of theproposed changes and had the revised premium and discount schedule ready to goshortly after initial passage of the Farm Bill Conference Report.
Preparedusing the procedures specified in the Food, Conservation and Security Act of2008, the new tables include some welcome changes for High Plains cottonproducers.
The new leaf grade combinations reflect theindustry recommendation to limit the applicable premium or discount for cottonwith Leaf grades higher than the Color grade to the calculated premium/discountfor the Leaf grade of cotton with the same Color grade but with a Leaf gradethat is one better than the Color grade.
The following tables can be downloaded or viewedonline at: http://www.plainscotton.org/CottonNews062008_table.pdf
The first table
Among the changes incorporated in this year'sloan schedule, the previously mentioned elimination of the separatepremium/discount table for Staple 32 and shorter cotton removes what many havefelt was an outdated and unnecessary differentiation in light of thesignificant advances in staple length that has been achieved on the High Plainsin recent years. .
The other big change that gained High Plainsproducers a quick 40 points in loan value was the elimination of warehouselocation differentials. In the past cotton from different parts of the U. S.received differing bale loan rates based on their county to calculate loanvalues. In 2008 every producer in the United States will start from the same52-cent base loan rate and shed new light on the quality of cotton beingproduced in different parts of the country.
The second table
Complete 2008 Loan Premium and Discount tablesand loan charts with calculated values based on the 2008 schedule of premiumsand discounts is available on the Plains Cotton Growers website at: